Dassault aims at last year’s sales records

 - November 7, 2006, 10:01 AM

Dassault president Charles Edelstenne yesterday made note of the rapidly growing business aviation industry, saying that Dassault’s own sales are exploding no less rapidly.

Edelstenne said Dassault secured a record 123 business jet sales last year, and added that this year was likely to be even better. He also noted that despite the rapidly growing order book for the new Falcon 7X, the sales sheet remains fairly well balanced among the other Falcon products–the twin-engine Falcon 2000EX and the Falcon 900EX trijet.

But it is the new and larger 7X, now less than six months from certification, that was most on Edelstenne’s mind at a morning press conference. He noted that the order book is now at 125 airplanes. Every projected milestone has been met, and the airplane is meeting or exceeding every expectation.

The Pratt & Whitney Canada PW307A engine has been certified, has now passed 11,000 total hours of test time and will provide 6,400 pounds of thrust. The approach speed has been determined to be 105 knots, the minimum landing distance is 2,262 feet and Mmo is Mach 0.90. The cold-soak test has been completed, and as one Dassault executive noted, “it was a lot rougher on the crew than it was on the airplane itself.” Tests in extreme heat were completed in the Tunisian desert at 123-degrees F. Successful high-altitude tests were recently completed in Colorado at Gunnison (7,000 feet) and Leadville (10,000 feet).

A report on the interior environment showed that the two-zone temperature control maintained comfortable temperatures evenly throughout the entire cabin, as well as in the cockpit.

Dassault said the first 7X has already arrived for interior completion at the company’s Little Rock, Ark. facility. By the end of the year, four Falcon 7Xs will be in the new completion center.

Taking a broader look at its products, Dassault said its 100th EASy (enhanced avionics system) Falcon business jet has entered service. The worldwide fleet of EASy-equipped Falcon business jets is approaching 70,000 flight hours.     o